We changed our privacy policy. Read more.

Questions tagged [syntax]

The study of the internal structure of expressions, especially between words and phrases, and the principles and processes that determine it. This includes words order, but also the grammatical relations that hold between words, as well as structural ambiguity, binding, reference, and similar issues. Common approaches are numerous phrase structure grammars (GPSG, HPSG, LFG, G&B, X-bar, Minimalism, ...) and, on the other hand, dependency grammars.

209 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
1
vote
0answers
28 views

Is the sequence of time adverbials, place adverbials and manner adverbials appearing in the same sentence universal or typologically determined?

For example, in English there is "I bought a dress with my friend at the mall yesterday" where the sequence is manner-place-time, while in Russian it is time-place-manner, in Mandarin it is ...
1
vote
0answers
58 views

Tree Structures: Sentence breaks and TP vs. S as tree structure head

I am currently working on my Linguistics homework and I have to draw a tree diagram of the sentences: (1) Peter thinks Susan asked if she needs to resign. (2) Johnny said he wants to study French. The ...
1
vote
0answers
86 views

How do you distinguish verbs, nouns, and adjectives in Chinese?

I am messing around with a conlang and trying to figure out how to write sentences. Man this is hard, there are so many possibilities and I don't know where to start. But basically, I am looking at ...
1
vote
0answers
55 views

Kayne on Conjunctions and Chomsky's Labelling Algorithm

I'm reading on coordination structures in relation to Chomsky's proposal of the Labelling Algorithm and stumbled upon Kayne (1994) The Antisymmetry of Syntax. In it, Kayne takes the view that ...
1
vote
0answers
82 views

Verb-ing after this phrase or clause "this is my first time"

Is the verb with '-ing' in the phrase or clause "this is my first time eating this" a gerund or a present participle verb? I think now I see that "this" probably is or means "...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

Across languages, what, if any, syntactic or semantic differences distinguish compound verbs from serial verb constructions?

Across languages, what semantic or syntactic differences distinguish serial verb constructions from compound verbs? Let's disregard phonological differences for the purposes of this question. Let's ...
1
vote
0answers
40 views

Is there a language where presence/absence of V-O agreement would reflect presence/absence of accusative case?

I am trying to find a language which would show the following pattern with respect to agreement/morphological Case: presence of verb-object morphological agreement yields accusative morphology ...
1
vote
2answers
135 views

Derivation of Passive according to Principles and Parameters (Jaeggli)

I've been trying to wrap my head around this for hours, but I am simply stuck. Could somebody please kindly explain this passage? I am struggling in particular with the part in bold. The text is from ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

position of t[i] — * What[j] did Ann wonder who[i] would eat t[i] t[j]?

(infelicitous) Whatj did Ann wonder whoi would eat ti tj ? (source: Key Terms in Syntax and Syntactic Theory) The above sentence appears in a section discussing island constraint. I know this ...
1
vote
2answers
270 views

When an existential verb is used existentially as the predicate to a subject, is it true in all languages that it cannot take another predicate?

When an existential is used existentially verb as the predicate to a subject, is it true in all languages that it cannot take another predicate? In other words, when the existential to-be verb means '...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

What is some good literature about the different parameters between languages?

I'm looking for some reading material on the technical differences regarding parameters and structures between languages. I'm trying to understand how languages like Turkish word on a syntactical ...
1
vote
0answers
40 views

Relationship between semantical understanding of a text and the level of language used in the text

I am a Machine Learning researcher who is doing research in the Natural Language Processing (NLP). I need better understanding about human language for my new research, so I decided to write this ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

Subcategorisation Frame with DPs

I want to construct a subcatagorisation frame for some words, for example that take a DP complement. Take the preposition "between" as example. I arrive at this point: Form: "...
1
vote
0answers
168 views

Usage of the implicit object-subordinate clause in Italian (i.e. Usage of the implicit objective subordinate clause in English - part II)

In a sense, the following question is a sequel of this one: Usage of the implicit objective subordinate clause in English. In that question I asked some information about the usage of the implicit ...
1
vote
0answers
89 views

the relation between the transitivity and intransitivity of a verb

I had a problem with understanding the following question: Try to determine for each case how the 'intransitive' use relates to the transitive use and whether it reflects (i) an idiosyncratic ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

Thematic structures of a clause

As a student of linguistics, I'd want to know that what a concept of thematic structures of a clause actually is.
1
vote
0answers
41 views

Are there any V2 languages that allow/prohibit movement of the non-finite part of the VP to the first position?

I'm curious about what the space of attested V2 languages looks like, particularly what happens to the part of the VP besides the finite verb. I'm especially curious whether moving the non-finite ...
1
vote
0answers
61 views

What is the relationship between 'Government and Binding Theory', 'Principles and Parameters', and 'Minimalism?

As I understand it, P&P and Minimalism are "programs", which are like different ways of thinking about syntax. G&B is the generative grammar that is based on P&P. (I think that's all ...
1
vote
0answers
49 views

Data on causatives in Russian and Turkish needed!

I'm working on a comparative syntactic project on the notion 'causative', either morphologically marked or non-marked. References like Haspelmath (1987) provide some (brief) data on the notion of ...
1
vote
0answers
105 views

syntax tree about cleft sentences

I would like to know about the syntactic tree of cleft sentences. is the clefted elemnt moved from the original position? or Is it base-generated? I would like to knwo some referrences about this. ...
1
vote
1answer
199 views

Where does supplementation fit in?

As far as I can see, the structure of supplementary constructions like Karen, being ill, was unable to go or John – her father – was unable to walk her down the aisle or maybe a washer-dryer ...
1
vote
1answer
169 views

Characterising adverbial constructions

I know adverbs are multifarious, but I’d like to find out just how farious they are. I’m trying to work out what properties they can have by looking at variations in the way different ones can be used....
1
vote
0answers
82 views

"Peter sang a song to Julie", Is "to Julie" is an adjunct or complement?

Peter sang a song to Julie. It seems that the verb "sang" selects the preposition, but to Julie is optional. And if we apply it to an X' Schema, how shall we do it? To Julie is the dependent of sang ...
1
vote
0answers
57 views

Understanding the property of complementhood

In the following sentence: They can both speak French. How can French be the complement of the V-bar speak French? I have the following definition of the complement: A constituent X is the ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

Complete NL formalisms w/out syntax

What are the natural language formalisms that, roughly speaking, do away w/ syntax as a separate level of description? Cf. Steedman's "The Syntactic Process" (2000): "...syntactic structure is ...
1
vote
0answers
92 views

Which other languages have discontinuous dependencies and how are cross or long ones managed in them?

Discontinuous dependencies are a part of English syntatic rules and also are something which linguists are still trying to deal with. My question: which other languages have this problem and how does ...
1
vote
0answers
53 views

English verbs requiring PP

Are there a set of English verbs that require a prepositional phrase? For example: "The set consists of A and B." = GOOD "The set consists" = BAD Is there a name for this type of verb? They seem to ...
1
vote
0answers
38 views

How are nominal predicates expressed in active-stative languages?

Based on my reading, Active–Stative languages typically feature the core arguments of Agent (AGN) and Patient (PAT). While the precise rules differ by language, it seems to be that for intransitive ...
1
vote
0answers
40 views

Translation of 'verbes symétriques' from French to English

What do you think is the accurate equivalent les verbes symétriques in English?
1
vote
0answers
53 views

A sort/type/kind of N. Which is the head?

Let's take the example 'A kiwi is [a type of bird]'. Page 109 of this book https://faculty.mu.edu.sa/public/uploads/1367260110.5528Understanding%20Syntax.pdf sais that the head of a phrase: A. Has ...
1
vote
0answers
57 views

Doubly Filled COMP in Contemporary English

Are there any cases of doubly filled COMP in contemporary English? Middle English had relative clauses with wh-phrases and complementisers co-occurring. I’ve also read that the variety of English ...
1
vote
0answers
57 views

Finiteness of embedded clause in "Susan seems to have gone"

My textbook flags the above mentioned phrase as non-finite but it clearly seems to indicate tense. After all, alterations like "have eaten", "have been eating", "have had been eating", "having been ...
1
vote
0answers
56 views

Do non-verbal predicates discharge thematic roles?

I'm fairly familiar with verbal predicates (VP-shell, passivisation, PISH etc.) but every time I have a non-verbal predicate, like NP or AP, I seem to struggle - partially because I don't know whether ...
1
vote
0answers
86 views

Why can't we explain exceptional case-marking as sentences with a three-place predicate?

In this sentence: I consider him a good person. What is prohibiting us from positing a three-place predicate here? In such a scenario, consider would discharge three theta-roles to agent (I), ...
1
vote
0answers
163 views

wals chapter 50 regarding german language

Regarding asymmetrical case marking in German referring WALS chapter 50, I understand the asymmetry in German (ich : I; mich : me; mir : to me; er : he; ihm : to him; ihn : him, etc.) but the value is ...
1
vote
0answers
88 views

In construction grammar, is extraction a property of the construction or a separate construction?

I have a question regarding the notion of 'construction' in construction grammar. When a construction, say a coordination or a prepositional phrase or something, allows or doesn't allow extraction, is ...
1
vote
0answers
569 views

When do C-Domain and Binding Domain mean different things?

I'm reading the paper Constraints on Null Pronouns by Speas, in which the author defines two constraints for a cross-linguistic OT analysis of the occurrence of null pronouns across languages: ...
1
vote
0answers
82 views

Is there any good, theory-neutral definition of long-distance reflexives in the literature?

Long distance reflexives/anaphora/binding are much discussed in the literature, particularly among generativists, but while there seems to be rough agreement on what constitutes a long-distance ...
1
vote
0answers
137 views

Reciprocal Pronouns (one another, each other) and Head Noun

I have a question about Reciprocal Pronouns (a part of the category anaphors). I can't seem to find the entire answer that I am looking for anywhere, so I'll ask here. I have tried to make my question ...
1
vote
0answers
230 views

Course in advanced syntax (generative grammar)

I wonder if there are any good online courses in advanced syntax (within GG framework). By advanced I mean beyond introductory level like Carnie's Syntax or Radford's Minimalist Syntax books. There is ...
1
vote
0answers
157 views

Difference between dislocation, shifting, inversion, discontinuity, topicalization, scrambling

This is a really broad question, but can someone explain the difference between the following phenomena: topicalization, dislocation, shifting, inversion, discontinuity, and scrambling. Wikipedia says ...
1
vote
0answers
74 views

Must subjectless infinitives exhibit subject control when used as complements(traditionally direct objects) of other verbs?

In English, the answer will be yes in most cases, but one thesis cast doubt on this. The author provided an example taken from BNC: My mother helped [PRO] to cater for the funeral tea, which were ...
1
vote
0answers
162 views

Syntax trees: Why CP and VP sometimes have only 1 node and sometimes 2 under them?

I'm reading Carnie's English Syntax and I'm having some doubts regarding the syntactic trees of some examples. For what I've understood about my doubt, it has to be with the definitions of ...
1
vote
0answers
172 views

How many meaningful English phrases can be created using 4 or fewer words?

Prompted by this exchange on Information Security Stack Exchange, regarding whether a passphrase consisting of 4 English words might be easier or harder to crack than a password of 8 random characters,...
1
vote
0answers
268 views

Entailments Relations

I have problem understanding the entailment logic on these examples and would like some help. Here's my answers: Sally works together with Polly. Sally works. => I think one entails other, but not ...
1
vote
0answers
199 views

How does the view that theta-roles are features work exactly? For example, in Hornstein 1999 Movement and Control

Hornstein 1999 says that theta-roles are features on verbs and a DP receives a theta-role by checking a theta-feature of a VP that it merges with. How would this be represented in a syntactic tree? ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

Researching extraposition in a syntactic treebank

I'm writing a paper on extraposition in English (and other right-branching discontinuities). I have found a lot of interesting theory on this but the instructions say that if possible concrete corpus ...
1
vote
0answers
704 views

What is the difference between case marking particles and adpositions?

Apparently there is some relevant book which claims, more or less: Case marking particles and adpositions are not identical, one is a morphological, one a syntactic unit. This claim was heard ...
1
vote
0answers
94 views

Egocentric constraint

What does it mean that a sentence is an egocentric constraint? I have this sentence: "They really released the bird from the cage" and I have to argue that this is an egocentric constraint. I would ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

What's the term for N-PP expressions such as "lady-in-waiting"?

Does anyone know or can suggest a term for the following expressions: lady-in-waiting brother-in-law sergent-at-arms bride-to-be etc. Expressions like those above are special for (at ...